Google Maps has just released two great new features for the Android – GPS System 3D interaction and offline reliability.
Mobile Internet connections are never 100% reliable but this is a huge step toward greater offline reliability. These new updates provide a solution to one of the biggest limitations with a mobile GPS system – being able to access and use your navigation GPS system while you are offline, so you can find your way even if you lose your connection. Most GPS system users have all had those frustrating moments when you get stranded without a map – like when you’re driving in the mountains and the cel coverage is limited or anywhere else with an unreliable Internet connection.
According to Google’s blog post, “dynamically drawing maps requires 100 times less data to get maps across all zoom levels, so now we’re able to proactively cache (or store) large areas on your device based on where you use Maps the most. This way, you can rely on having fast, robust maps available to you where you’re most likely to need them.”
3-D Interactive Maps
The 3-d interactive features of the just released version of Google Maps are really cool. You can twirl two fingers around the screen and the map rotates accordingly. You can also slide two fingers and the view pivots away from straight overhead to a three-quarter perspective. If you zoom into a major city, outlines of buildings pop up from the ground while you scroll along. In compass mode, you can center the map on your location, and then tap the compass button in the top right corner. The map will flip into 3D mode and start rotating to match your perspective, while still keeping all the labels upright and readable.
In the past for Google Maps GPS system, as the images are downloading from the network, each block gets filled in with a gray square. All the gray squares together form an entire map. But with these new updates, Google will use vector graphics to dynamically draw the map on your GPS system as you use it, allowing you to interact with it in new ways:
Google Maps Navigation (Beta) is Google’s turn-by-turn GPS navigation system. For users, losing your Internet connection can be quite painful. Google is also introducing offline rerouting. You’ll still need a connection to start a route, but if you miss a turn along the way, you can quickly get back on track, even if you don’t have an Internet connection. Google will be rolling this feature out gradually over the next few weeks.